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Conduct Process - Hearing

The Center for Student Conduct and Community Standards is responsible for administering the Code on behalf of the campus. Student Conduct and Community Standards handles complaints of both academic and non-academic violations of the Code. Faculty members may resolve academic violations separately or in conjunction with Student Conduct and Community Standards. (See Faculty Informal Resolution of Academic Violations, page 8) Each case is handled individually and, while due process is always provided, every procedure outlined in the Code may not be employed in a particular case. The timelines set forth in this document may be extended in unusual circumstances as determined by the Dean of Students or his/her designee. Requests for extensions and approvals must be made in writing and all parties will be notified of the extension granted.

Filing a Complaint and Investigation of Allegations

Filing a Complaint
Most cases begin with a complaint alleging that a student has committed an academic or non-academic violation of the Code. Any member of the faculty or staff, a student or any other person may file a complaint with Student Conduct and Community Standards. Complaints alleging violation of certain campus policies, such as the Sexual Harassment Policy (see Appendix I), must be filed within time limits prescribed in those policies. Student Conduct and Community Standards may also independently investigate information concerning student misconduct from any source, such as police and/or press reports, even where no formal complaint has been filed.

  • Sexual Harassment Complaints:  In cases involving sexual harassment and/or gender discrimination, the investigation of specific allegations will be conducted by the Title IX Compliance Officer or other officer designated by the Chancellor in accordance with the Berkeley Campus Policy on Sexual Harassment and Complaint Resolution Procedures or the Student Grievance Procedure (see Appendix I). In cases involving a complaint of rape or sexual assault, the investigation of specific allegations will be directed by the Title IX Compliance Officer and conducted by Student Conduct and Community Standards. The Title IX Compliance Officer will decide whether sexual assault and sexual harassment cases should be pursued by Student Conduct and Community Standards.
     
  • Complaints Relating to University Housing:  Students residing in University-owned and/or operated housing facilities who violate the Residential Code of Conduct (See Appendix I) may be adjudicated under the process outlined in the Residential Code of Conduct or referred directly to Student Conduct and Community Standards.

Investigation of Misconduct
Student Conduct and Community Standards will conduct an investigation of complaints of alleged misconduct and determine whether sufficient information exists to proceed with a conduct process. One of the following actions will then be taken:

Not Pursued

  • Insufficient Evidence:  If Student Conduct and Community Standards determines that there is insufficient evidence to support an allegation of violation of the Code, charges against the accused student will not be pursued.
  • Notification:  Instead of pursuing charges against a student that has allegedly violated the Code, Student Conduct and Community Standards may issue a written notification to a student that his or her alleged behavior may have violated University policy, campus regulations or the Code and that, if repeated such behavior will be subject to the conduct process. The Notification does not result in a conduct record and therefore is not appealable. However, in order to enhance the sanction, the prior alleged behavior as detailed in the Notification may be introduced in a subsequent conduct process for the purpose of establishing that the student has been warned about such behavior.

Case Charged

Notice of Charges
If Student Conduct and Community Standards determines that there is sufficient information that supports the allegation the student will be notified of the charges under the Code. The written notice of charges advises the student of: the University Policy or campus regulation the student is alleged to have violated; a brief summary of the incident including, wherever possible, the date, time, and location of the alleged offense; a statement that the student may be accompanied by an advisor at any stage of the conduct proceedings at his or her own expense; the opportunity to meet with a staff member of Student Conduct and Community Standards to discuss resolution of the charges pursuant to Informal Resolution of Allegations (page 8) of this Code; the right to a hearing to contest the allegations; and Student Conduct and Community Standards’ intent to proceed to hearing unless the student meets with staff and informally resolves the charges. See the Overview of the Conduct Process in Appendix III.
Notice to student organizations will be addressed to the president, principal officer, student group signatory or other students designated by the group to act as an agent on behalf of the group.

Advisory Review Committee
Student Conduct and Community Standards may seek the advice of an Advisory Review Committee with respect to pursuing or charging a case or with sanctioning pursuant to an informal resolution. Hearing bodies may also seek the advice of an Advisory Review Committee for the purpose of determining an appropriate sanction. This committee will also conduct any hearings required in connection with an Interim Suspension (See Interim Suspension, page 19). Advisory Review Committees will be formed on an as-needed basis from the members of the Committee on Student Conduct and will include three members: a faculty chair, one student and one staff member. Advisory review committee members responsible for making decisions related to pursuing or charging a case will not be seated on the hearing panel for that case.

Resolution of Charged Cases
Students may choose to resolve their cases either informally through meetings with Student Conduct and Community Standards staff or formally through a hearing process. In either case, a student may request a copy of his or her own conduct record from Student Conduct and Community Standards. Student Conduct and Community Standards must provide a copy within three days of such requests. The release of such information may be subject to limitations imposed by state and federal law. (See Berkeley Campus Policy Governing Disclosure of Information from Student Records in Appendix I for further information.)

Informal Resolution of Allegations

Student Conduct Informal Resolution
Students charged with Code violations are offered the opportunity to meet with Student Conduct and Community Standards to resolve their case without a formal hearing. Cases may be resolved informally if the charged student, at any time prior to the hearing, admits violating the Code as charged or otherwise accepts an informal resolution. Informal resolutions generally include sanctions as described in Conduct Sanctions (page 19) combined with enhancements such as community service, additional educational requirements, written assignments, etc. If the Student Conduct Officer and the student reach a mutually acceptable agreement regarding sanctions, no hearing will be held. A student agreeing to an informal resolution must understand that by accepting the informal resolution he or she is waiving his or her rights to a hearing and any further appeal. If no agreement is reached, the matter will proceed to a hearing. (See also Faculty Resolution of Academic Violations, page 8)

Additional Informal Resolution Options
In some cases additional options for informal resolution may be appropriate. These options could include, but are not limited to: mediation, peer review boards, and restorative processes. Student Conduct and Community Standards staff will determine when these options for resolution may be appropriate and make referrals.

Faculty Resolution of Academic Violations

  • Generally:  Faculty members may choose to informally resolve incidents of academic misconduct or may refer such complaints to Student Conduct and Community Standards. All faculty dispositions will be reported to Student Conduct and Community Standards, either for adjudication (as described in Resolution of Charged Cases, page 7) or for record-keeping purposes. If the student has a prior history of misconduct at the University, Student Conduct and Community Standards may adjudicate the matter after consultation with the instructor or faculty member.
  • Initial Investigation: Instructors or faculty members attempting to settle academic matters will discuss allegations of academic misconduct with the student directly and, if appropriate, others involved in the suspected academic violation. If the student maintains innocence of the violation and the instructor or faculty member determines that no such violation occurred, he or she may cease investigating the complaint.

 

  • Faculty Determined Disposition:  If, upon discussion, the student admits the violation, the instructor may impose an appropriate academic sanction after confirming with Student Conduct and Community Standards that the student has no prior history of academic misconduct. If the student does not admit to the academic misconduct or consent to the sanction proposed by the faculty member, the matter will be adjudicated through Student Conduct and Community Standards. Academic sanctions may only be imposed by faculty members and include but are not limited to resubmitting assignments and grade adjustments. Faculty members may not impose sanctions as listed in Conduct Sanctions (page 19). All faculty dispositions will be reported to Student Conduct and Community Standards for record-keeping purposes.
  • Referral to Student Conduct and Community Standards:  If the instructor or faculty member is unable to, or elects not to resolve the complaint with the student, he or she will report the alleged violation to Student Conduct and Community Standards.
  • If the student, in discussion with the instructor or faculty member, maintains innocence of the alleged violation and the instructor or faculty member believes a violation did occur, he or she will report the alleged violation to Student Conduct and Community Standards. If a student is found responsible for academic violations of the Code academic sanctions may be imposed by the faculty member (see Faculty Determined Disposition, page 8) and non-academic sanctions imposed by Student Conduct and Community Standards or the hearing body . (See Conduct Sanctions, page 19)
  • When an instructor or faculty member reports an alleged academic violation to Student Conduct and Community Standards, a course grade of "I" (Incomplete) will be noted on the grade sheet pending resolution of the allegation. When the alleged violation is reported to Student Conduct and Community Standards, it will be handled as outlined in section Resolution of Charged Cases (page 7).
  • Notice of Final Disposition:  The instructor or faculty member will, in all cases, be informed of the disposition of the allegations by Student Conduct and Community Standards to the extent permitted by applicable law and University policy.